In 1981 THE AUBIN LANE DINNER THEATRE launched THE KING AND I. John Wilson cast me as the King of Siam and once again Constance Navratil was cast as Anna. Her previous appearance as Anna was at BRLT in 1963 when Aubrey Moore was the king. Our 1981 AUBIN LANE production was most rewarding with full houses every night. Because this production required about a dozen or more “children” ranging in ages 5 to 17, Baton Rouge’s theatre community would benefit from this new crop of future thespians. Some of these very same children had previously appeared in ALDT’s production of SOUND OF MUSIC in which I portrayed Captain Von Trapp in 1979, directed by Henry Avery. SOUND OF MUSIC at ALDT would be revived again in 1984 with me as Von Trapp once again and yet an even newer crop of future thespians. And then, believe it or not, I would be asked by the then Baker Little Theatre director Tom Jones to perform Von Trapp once again in 1986, thus cultivating again a new crop of thespians. Wheew!
My friend, Becky Horne, observed that I was the most prolific stage dad in Baton Rouge. Not only had I appeared 3 times in SOUND OF MUSIC, but had gobs of kids in the KING AND I and would appear as the father in BRLT’s CLOSE TIES in 1988 where I would be the father of then theatre favorites Nick Cardona, Terry Serio, Julie Miller, Jamie Wax and Flossie Barker not to mention having been a father in CAMELOT, I OUGHT TO BE IN PICTURES, CAROUSEL, KISMET and SHOW BOAT and a soon-to-be father Stanley Kowalsky in STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1959).
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In the 90s I did only 2 shows: A FEW GOOD MEN and HOMESPIN. In FGM I was cast as Colonel Nathan Jessup, a
splendid role and one of my very favorites. HOMESPIN was a Jamie Wax creation. I was cast as Senator Malbeaux with Stephanie Levert in the role of my wife. George Jones and Jean Maier portrayed my parents. Jean was at least 10 years younger than me and justifiably felt strange playing my mom, but what the hell … I was OK with it.
While I was not able to boast a prolific theater experience during the 1980 through 2010 period, I did manage to hook many substantial supporting, cameo and lead film roles during this era including ERNEST GREEN STORY, HOT PURSUIT, THE MISSISSIPPI, DANGEROUS CURVES, DOUBLECROSSED, HIDE, LA-308, JAKE LASSITER, MALPRACTICE, ORLEANS, OLD MAN, QUANTUM APOCALPSE, AMERICAN HORROR STORY, TERROR EXPERIMENT and MOTHMAN. This last one, MOTHMAN, continues to re-appear on the SciFi network and generated great reviews for my role including a most recent appearance in the UK's Horror Cult Film website:
There is also a blind man who pretty much steals every scene, and provides some of the films highlights. Played by Jerry Leggio, Frank Waverly has had a run in with The Mothman before, and while he brings some menace and terrific acting, he also asks the question which is on all our minds: why the Hell do we celebrate a creature that kills people in Point Pleasant?
And then there was my biggest honor (2nd only to Gloria's "yes" when I proposed in 1959). This past May the Louisiana International Film Festival chose me to be the first recipient of the ANNE PRICE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD in recognition of my Louisiana motion picture pioneering efforts.
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